The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Minutemen Protest Outside Rally Marking Death Of Day Laborer

By Hatewatch Staff on May 12, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Minuteman Project members demonstrated outside a day laborer rally held on the two-year anniversary of the death of Jose Fernando Pedraza, who died after being hit by a car while participating in an anti-Minuteman protest.
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Immigrant-Bashing Sheriff Poses For Photos With Uniformed Neo-Nazi

By Hatewatch Staff on May 12, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio posed for photos with the uniformed leader of the National Socialist Movement’s Phoenix unit and exchanged pleasantries with neo-Nazis who told him, “We’ve got your back.”
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Home to Anti-Semites, Campus Discussion Group Ponders a Plot

By Sonia Scherr on May 12, 2009 - 8:08 am, Posted in Anti-Semitic

Pacifica Forum, a discussion group at the University of Oregon that has hosted a parade of Holocaust deniers and other far-right extremists, was recently named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. And the forum is not happy about it. So unhappy, in fact, that it devoted two recent sessions to complaining about the SPLC.

But the sessions, titled “POVERTY PALACE: Deconstructing the Southern Poverty Law Center,” seemed more than anything else to affirm the SPLC’s designation. At the first session, for instance, Pacifica Forum presenter Dawn Coslow suggested that the Jews (who else?) might have given money to the SPLC to influence which organizations it lists as hate groups, according to two students who attended.

The second session began with Coslow asking Michael Williams of the Anti-Hate Task Force, who’s helped monitor the forum, if the SPLC had sent him there six years ago “to get” Pacifica Forum. “Well, that’s a real bullshit question, isn’t it?” Williams replied. (For the record, the SPLC has never enlisted Williams or anyone else to spy on Pacifica Forum.)

The meeting went downhill from there. In a column for the University of Oregon student newspaper, the Daily Emerald, Truman Capps described the session this way: “What began as a discussion devolved by the end of the meeting into members of the Pacifica Forum and its detractors exercising their right to free speech very loudly at one another. Notable highlights from the proceedings include a comparison of the Southern Poverty Law Center to the KGB and the declaration from those involved with the Forum that hate doesn’t incite violence, which the Forum’s opponents countered by declaring the Forum a ‘freak show’ and defined anti-Semitism as reading Holocaust denier literature ‘without puking.’ The dispute ended when [93-year-old forum founder Orval] Etter rose from his wheelchair, Dr. Strangelove style, and adjourned the meeting.” ( continue to full post… )

Was Alleged Massachusetts Spree Killer a Neo-Nazi? Keith Luke Makes it Official

By David Holthouse on May 11, 2009 - 1:28 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime

Keith Luke — the 22-year-old white supremacist accused of carrying out a racially motivated rape and murder spree in Brockton, Mass., the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated as the nation’s first black president — appeared in court last week with a jagged swastika freshly carved into his forehead.

Authorities said Luke somehow managed to carve the swastika himself within a special unit at Plymouth County Jail, where he’s locked down for 23 hours a day and monitored by camera in his cell. As the Brockton daily newspaper The Enterprise reported: “It was not known exactly how he was able to etch the swastika into his flesh, but Luke is given a disposable razor to use for 20 minutes, three times a week.”

Luke has further altered his appearance since his arrest by shaving his head, growing a beard and shedding what appears to be at least 50 pounds.

On a video of last week’s arraignment, Luke appears bemused as he pleads not guilty to all charges against him, which include two counts of murder, four counts of aggravated rape, six counts of attempted murder, armed home invasion, kidnapping and a bundle of firearms charges.

The Enterprise reported that during the 10-minute court hearing, “Luke alternately smirked at the judge and craned his neck to glare at the victims’ families. The victims’ families silently stared back at the suspect.”

Luke stands accused of shooting to death two Cape Verdean immigrants and raping and attempting to murder a third. According to law enforcement reports, Luke told police that he was “fighting for a dying race” and that he decided to kill blacks, Latinos and Jews after reading about “the demise of the white race” on white supremacist websites such as PodBlanc, which glorifies racist “lone-wolf” killers.

Luke, who was carrying 200 rounds of ammunition on the day he was arrested, reportedly told police that after randomly gunning down as many non-whites as he could, he planned to shoot-up a bingo game that night at a local synagogue.

He’s been held without bail since his Jan. 21 arrest.

Dubious Declarations Department: Long-Time Neo-Nazi Boss Officially Judged ‘Reformed’

By Sonia Scherr on May 7, 2009 - 3:37 pm, Posted in Anti-Black

Bill Riccio headed a Birmingham, Ala.-area racist skinhead network responsible for at least two murders during the early ’90s, became a Klan officer after being released from prison in 1994, and regularly attended racist rallies in the years after that. As recently as 2007, Riccio said openly that he was still working to recruit young men into the white supremacist movement.

But now he’s been pronounced officially reformed.

That’s according to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, which issued a “certificate of pardon” last year proclaiming that Riccio “has so conducted himself as to demonstrate his reformation and to merit pardon with restoration of civil rights.”

The certificate is not what most people would consider a real pardon — it does not wipe out his criminal record in any way.

What the state of Alabama calls “pardons” come, in effect, at two levels. The easiest to achieve for those convicted of a felony is the restoration of voting rights, which people meeting certain basic conditions (like having paid any court-ordered restitution) automatically qualify for if they apply. The higher level allows felons to regain some, or in rare cases all, of their other civil and political rights — including the right to hold office, to serve on a jury, and to possess guns.

Riccio, now 52, won back his voting rights in 2006. He then applied for the reinstating of the other rights he lost because of his seven convictions, which ranged from firearms violations to civil rights and obstruction of justice offenses. Because he would not comment for this story, it’s not known why he made his application, but it may have been that he wanted to regain the right to possess weapons. In any event, in April 2008, the Pardons and Parole Board did reinstate some of his rights, although the board did not give him back the right to own firearms. ( continue to full post… )

Transnational White Supremacist Arthur Kemp Slammed Online By ‘Stephan Kemp (Arthur Kemp’s Son)’

By David Holthouse on May 6, 2009 - 9:35 am, Posted in Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist

The apple may have fallen quite far from the tree in the case of notorious South African white supremacist Arthur Kemp, who in recent years has become a key transnational player in both the far-right British National Party (BNP) and the neo-Nazi National Alliance in the U.S.

Someone identifying himself as Kemp’s 16-year-old son, using the moniker “Stephan Kemp,” has been taking the elder Kemp to task for being a “racist ass” and a lousy father on the anti-hate blog Lancaster United (motto: “taking on the BNP and the other riff-raff on the far-right”).

The first comment from Stephan Kemp appeared last September, relevant to an article on the controversy that erupted when the BNP began recommending its members read Kemp’s pseudo-history tome, March of the Titans: A History of the White Race. At grueling length, the book claims to document the history of “white race” from 35,000 B.C. through the 20th century, and credits whites with virtually all cultural and scientific advances, anywhere, ever.

A cozy bedtime story it’s not. Hence Stephan Kemp’s complaint:

“I remember almost every night when we would ask for a bedtime story (when most NORMAL fathers would read their children a normal book) he [Arthur Kemp] would instead tell us stories about how the white race was all supreme and then read us chapters from his horrible book “March of the White Titans” [sic]. Well, Dad, if you ever read this or even hear about it I just wanted to let you know that I HATE YOU!! You have no idea what I went through at school because of you, you twisted my mind and made my entire childhood a horrible misery. You will never understand what you have done to me.” ( continue to full post… )

High School Football Player Acquitted Of Immigrant’s Murder

By Hatewatch Staff on May 5, 2009 - 9:13 am, Posted in Uncategorized

An all-white jury found Brandon Piekarsky and another defendant not guilty of beating to death Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez, despite witnesses who testified that Piekarsky delivered the final blow to the victim’s head.
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New Yorkers for ICE Stage Immigration Reform Counter-Rally

By Hatewatch Staff on May 5, 2009 - 9:06 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Members of New Yorkers for Immigration Control and Enforcement assembled across the street from a gathering of hundreds of immigrants’ rights demonstrators.
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Minutemen Protest Utah Guest-Worker Plan

By Hatewatch Staff on May 5, 2009 - 9:01 am, Posted in Uncategorized

About 20 Minutemen protesters gathered outside the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce building to voice angry opposition to the organization’s proposal for a state-sponsored guest-worker program.
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Radio Host Suspended For Comments About Immigrants

By Hatewatch Staff on May 5, 2009 - 8:59 am, Posted in Uncategorized

Right-wing talk radio host Jay Severin was suspended indefinitely after calling Mexican immigrants “primitives,” “leeches,” and exporters of “women with mustaches and STDs.”
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